Neeraj Vora was an Indian film director, actor, and writer. He earned recognition in Bollywood as a writer for the movies ‘Rangeela’ and ‘Hera Pheri’. As an actor, he starred in numerous big screen projects, including 'Akele Hum Akele Tum', 'Satya', 'Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega', and 'Welcome Back'. Hailing from a classical musician's family, Vora had no access to Bollywood movies as a kid. While his father was strictly against watching films, his mother used to take him to theatres secretly. His rendezvous with acting happened in college when he began participating in drama competitions. When his father discovered his love for acting, he surprisingly supported him and asked him to follow his passion. Vora eventually landed in Bollywood in 1984. He worked diligently in the show business and made a name for himself over the years. He suffered a stroke in 2016 and went into a coma. He later passed away in December 2017.
Neeraj Vora made his professional acting debut in 1984, with Ketan Mehta’s ‘Holi’. Then in 1992, he featured in the romance comedy ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’. This was followed by his role in the Aamir Khan-starrer ‘Rangeela,’ which he also wrote. In the ensuing years, he had roles in the hit films ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ and ‘Virasat’. He later appeared in ‘Satya’, ‘Mann’, and ‘Mast’.
In 2000, Vora was cast alongside Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, and Namrata Shirodkar in Rajkumar Santoshi’s action drama 'Pukar'. Although the flick was critically acclaimed, it did only average business. It also garnered two National Film Awards. Also, that year, he featured in the super hit movies 'Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega' and 'Dhadkan'. The latter was praised for its unique storyline, amazing performances by the leads, and brilliant music.
Following an appearance in the 2002 action thriller ‘Company’, the actor was seen in ‘Khatta Meetha’ and ‘Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke’, both of which were released in 2010. His later acting projects included 'Kamaal Dhamaal Malamaal', 'Bol Bachchan', and 'Welcome Back'.
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Besides Aamir Khan’s ‘Rangeela’, Neeraj Vora had also written or co-written the scripts of several other Bollywood films, including ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’, ‘Baadshah’, ‘Awara Paagal Deewana’, ‘Chori Chori Chupke Chupke’, and ‘Hera Pheri’. Out of all his projects, he was most appreciated for his contribution to Hera Pheri and its 2006 sequel ‘Phir Hera Pheri’.
Neeraj Vora also garnered appreciation for his direction. He made his directorial debut with the 2000 action flick ‘Khiladi 420’. Six years later, he directed ‘Phir Hera Pheri’. He then went on to direct the movies ‘Familywala’, ‘Shortkut: The Con Is On’, and ‘Run Bhola Run’.
Vora was slated to direct the third installment of the ‘Hera Pheri’ film series, titled ‘Hera Pheri 3’. However, he was replaced by Ahmed Khan following his conflicts with the lead actors. He was still retained as the movie’s executive producer. Following his death in 2017, the directing job went to Indra Kumar.
Family & Personal Life
Neeraj Vora was born on 22 January 1963, in Bhuj, Gujarat, India, to classical musician, Pandit Vinayak Rai Nanalal Vora, and his wife Premila Ben. He grew up in Mumbai where he attended Pupils' Own School in Khar.
He went into a coma after suffering a stroke in October 2016. He died on 14 December 2017, at the age of 54. His wife had died in 2004. He did not have any children.